• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'To Kill a Mockingbird' evaluation of themes.

Extracts from this document...


'To Kill a Mockingbird' evaluation of themes by Amy Naumann 'Naw Jem. I think theirs just one kind of folks. Folks.' It took Scout a long time to realise this, in a society where racism and prejudice are every-day occurrences. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee is set in the !930's deep South of America. In this essay I intend to show how the author uses various literary techniques to convey to the readers the main themes which are still important today - misunderstanding, racism, innocence and religious fundamentalism. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is about two white children, Scout and Jem, who live with their moral lawyer father Atticus and black housekeeper Calpurnia in a small town called Maycomb. It is told by Scout looking back on her childhood, so we read everything from a child's point of view. In the first part of the book we hear all about the children trying to make contact with Boo Radley, their infamous neighbour rumoured to be a complete maniac. ...read more.


The title of the book is also about innocence. Mockingbirds are seen as innocent as they 'don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us'. Scout and Jem are taught that it's a crime to hurt mockingbirds as they do nothing to hurt anyone, in the same way that it's a crime to make fun of other peoples beliefs or lifestyles. In the novel both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson can be seen as Mockingbirds as they are kind-hearted people who have done no harm but whose circumstances have left there control. Both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are picked on because their lives are misunderstood by the narrow-minded society in which they live. It cannot be understood that Tom Robinson, a black man, could feel sorry for a white woman because her live should automatically be better than his should as she is white. An important lesson Atticus teaches his children is that 'you don't really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them'. ...read more.


However there aren't many people in the white population of Maycomb who display true Christian characteristics. They talk about doing charitable work instead of actually doing anything good. Their views of religion are purely to follow the rules as they interpret them, and to try and make everyone else do the same. But in contrast the black Christians are welcoming - '...we're mighty glad to have you all' says Reverend Sykes when Scout and Jem go to Calpurnia's church. Also Atticus is an example of a 'good' Christian - he teaches his children to try and understand others viewpoints and be tolerant. He sticks up for Tom Robinson because he believes it is the right thing to do, even though it makes him very unpopular. In conclusion I think that 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a remarkable story. The issues which Harper Lee raises are still important today and probably still will be until everyone learns to be tolerant to those different to them. I think that she manages to bring them across in a humorous yet hard-hitting way, and that this novel will be a classic for years to come. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Chapter 8 Summary Winter comes to Maycomb and it is unexpectedly harsh. Mr. Avery blames the children for causing the bad weather, saying that disobedient children make the seasons change. Mrs. Radley dies, and Atticus goes to the Radleys' house, but upon questioning from Scout he sternly says that he did not see Boo there.

  2. Discuss the importance of Boo Radley in relation to the themes and plot of ...

    charged at him with disorderly conduct which sent him straight to industrial school. He was not seen again for 15 years. Atticus Finch and Nathan Radley have completely opposite parenting styles, Atticus is more laid back in the way he treats his children.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird

    As for the Fich family, Tom's death is a terrible event which then adds more depressing events to the novel. The title of the novel by Harper Lee, 'To Kill a Mockingbird', has a symbolic effect which is portrayed in the novel.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    He compared Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children and Maycomb thought he was trying to write an editorial to be reprinted in the Montgomery Advertiser." Chapter 25 (Pg 265), this emphasises the part symbolism plays because of the way that Tom Robinson was innocent,

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    You rarely win, but sometimes you do...'" (112) Even though Atticus was "Ol' One-Shot", he did not boast about this skill or use it to prove superiority or courage for he did not want his children to think of him as courageous for this skill.

  2. How Does the Writer Use the Trial of Tom Robinson to Bring Out the ...

    The town commits the ultimate sin by finding him guilty and sentencing him to death. In effect, they have killed a mockingbird. An example of Scout?s innocence is when she talks the lynch mob into leaving just by being friendly to Mr Cunningham.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work